7 Types of Eurail Pass Benefits That You’ll Love
Did you know that your Eurail Pass is much more than a train ticket across Europe? Each pass is packed full of special freebies and discounts that you can get just by flashing the humble document. Some are more obvious than others, so here’s a quick breakdown of the best Eurail Pass benefits you’re entitled to.
The Best Eurail Pass Benefits
1. Private scenic train rides
Your Eurail Pass gives you easy access to the vast majority of Europe’s trains. In most cases you can simply hop aboard with your pass in hand. In other cases you might have to pre-book a seat online or at the station ahead of time. There’s also a handful of private trains so luxurious and exclusive that no rail pass will get you there all-inclusive. These rides are typically high up spectacular mountains, through isolated valleys, or on bucket-list worthy scenic routes. Although your Eurail Pass may not cover this 1% of Europe’s epic train rides, it often allows you a big discount on the base fare.
Take advantage: Take the once-in-a-lifetime train to Jungfrau, the top of Europe, in Switzerland – Eurailers receive a 25% discount on the regular ticket price when they show their Eurail Pass. Want more amazing views? The Glacier Express and Bernina Express are completely covered by the Eurail Pass. You’ll only have to pay for your seat reservation.
2. Long distance ferry rides
After trains, boats and ferries may just be the next best mode of transport. The good news is that your Eurail Pass means you can travel on both. There are dozens of long distance ferry rides that can save you days of overland travel, including those between Spain, Italy Croatia, and Greece. Eurail has a partnership with several major ferry companies, and your pass will get you a discount on many routes.
Take advantage: Superfast Ferries travel between Greece and Italy and offer spectacular views across the Adriatic. If your pass is valid in both countries you have free passage, and if it’s valid in only one country, then you’ll get 30% discount.
3. Scenic boat rides
Not a fan of long boat rides? Then you can also hop aboard dozens of shorter scenic trips at a steep discount or even for free. Europe’s lakes and rivers offer some of the most dramatic scenery of all. Even a brief trip across the waters can expose you to new perspectives and create lasting memories.
Take advantage: Eurail Pass holders get free passage on many Swiss lakes and rivers, including the stunning Lakes Brienz and Thun that gave Interlaken its name. You also get a 50% discount on a boat trip on the magnificent Lake Constance in Germany and Switzerland from May to October.
4. First class lounges
With so many trains crisscrossing the European continent, it’s unlikely you’ll have to spend too much time in the fetal position on an uncomfortable station bench. But if you have a long layover or missed connection, a 1st class Eurail Pass gets you access into dozens of lounges throughout the continent. These offer more than a comfortable seat and a foreign-language newspaper. Depending on the lounge, you can expect free snacks, soft drinks, coffee, clean bathrooms and Wi-Fi. Each station has its own requirements for entry. You may need to be embarking on or arriving from an international journey.
Take advantage: In 2017, travelers with a 1st class Eurail Pass can get access to train lounges in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden
5. Discounted accommodation
Your Eurail Pass is also a ticket to discounted accommodation in key locations throughout the continent. There are several accommodation partners, including Meininger and A&O, who offer a 10% discount on hostel and hotel accommodation.
If you’re a fan of museums, sightseeing tours and other attractions, you’ll know that these entrance fees can add up quickly. Fortunately, your pass entitles you to discounted entry to dozens of famous attractions and aboard several sightseeing trips. These vary according to each city, but chances are you’ll find something that interests you at a marked discount in most destinations – just be sure to show your pass when purchasing tickets.
Take advantage: Eurail Pass holders get a 20% discount on City Sightseeing buses in Italy, and discounted entry into dozens of museums, aquariums, and galleries throughout Europe.
7. Public transport
In some countries your Eurail Pass even allows you free travel on local public subway and metro lines. There are a few terms and conditions that you must meet, specific to the city or country. But in cities where you’re allowed to travel on certain local lines with your Eurail Pass, it will count as a travel day. You’ll have to write in the journey before boarding to avoid any complications. This means that you can save few euros on the last leg of your journey when arriving in several major cities. Just be sure to double check your pass’s validity in that city before you confidently hop aboard.
Take advantage: Eurail Passes give you free transportation on Germany’s S-Bahn (suburban metro railways), which is operated by Deutsche Bahn in most major cities.
How to use Eurail Pass benefits
If you’re using Eurail Pass benefits that include free passage or crossing, then you must fill in a travel day on your pass. If the benefit is simply a discount on the full fare, then you don’t need to use a travel day. Even if you have used up all your travel days on your pass, but your pass is still valid, you can use it to obtain discounts. The Eurail website covers this in more depth.
In many ways traveling with a Eurail Pass unlocks the best of Europe. You can find hidden discounts and freebies in countries across the continent. The best way to keep ahead of the benefits is to check up the benefits per country on the Eurail website or Rail Planner app prior to arrival.
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